Eiman rescue efforts 'suspended for talks'

The Philippine army has suspended efforts to rescue six-year-old Eiman Grant from Muslim rebels to allow negotiations for her release.

The Philippine army has suspended efforts to rescue six-year-old Eiman Grant from Muslim rebels to allow negotiations for her release.

Troops have encircled a forested area in Tuburan, in the southern island province of Basilan, where the guerrillas are holding the stepdaughter of Briton Douglas Grant.

Four suspected Abu Sayyaf rebels abducted Grant on Wednesday from her home in Basilan. Her Filipino mother, Nina Rasul Grant, said they demanded 100,000 pesos (£1,350).

The Abu Sayyaf rebels have turned over the kidnapped child to guerrillas belonging to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a larger Muslim rebel group fighting for an independent Islamic nation in the southern Philippines.

Army officials are now negotiating with the MLF.

Mrs Grant said the Abu Sayyaf abductors threatened to kill the child if the authorities learned of the kidnapping. Lucero said their information indicated the child was still alive.

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